How to Grow Pumpkins Indoors
If you don't have an outdoor garden spot, or you live in an apartment miles away from any place to plant (but you still want to grow your own pumpkins), we've got you covered. You can grow pumpkins indoors, and it's not as difficult as you may think. Before you get planting, gather up your supplies and make sure you have a place where you can put a large pot of dirt that gets great sun and isn't under an air vent.
Pick and Prepare
First, you're going to need pumpkin seeds. You can purchase pumpkin seeds at any gardening store, but you can also pop them out of a pumpkin that you already have. If you're using seeds from a fresh pumpkin, you're going to need to clean them off using water. Make sure to remove all of the pulp. Use larger seeds from your pumpkin because they have the best chance of growing well.
Take all of the seeds you want to plant and put them on parchment paper or wax paper to dry for twenty-four hours. Then, take the seeds and put them on a plate with a paper towel on top. Arrange them in a single layer. Once the seeds are all laid out, let them dry in a cool, dark spot for at least a month.
Then the seeds will be ready to be used or stored till next year.
Fertilize and Water
Take a small pot or plastic cup and fill it with dirt and fertilizer. If you want to make your own fertilizer, you can, but you can also use a good organic blend from a local gardening store. Once your cup is full, use your finger to dig a small hole, about three inches deep. Then, take three pumpkin seeds and drop them in the hole and cover them back up with dirt. If you want to give yourself a better chance of getting pumpkins, plant a few different cups, so you've got a backup.
Once the seeds are planted, water them with a spray bottle every other day until you see them sprout. You should see results in about a month, but you may see stems as soon as a few weeks.
Once the sprouts are an inch or two tall, transplant them into a large, permanent clay pot. Clay will help the soil retain the right amount of water, and the largest pot will give the seeds room to grow.
You should also put a few tall dowels, around six feet, in the pot with the pumpkins. This will allow the plant to grow well with the support it needs indoors. Because you're not growing them in a large garden, the dowels will serve as space they need to grow great vines.
Be the Bee
Once your pumpkin plant blossoms, you're going to need to pollenate the plant manually because you're growing the plant away from any bees. Male blossoms are longer, thinner, have pollen in them, and look like a trumpet. They also usually bloom first. Female blossoms are shorter and wider, kind of like a bowl.
To pollinate your plant, take a clean paintbrush, take pollen from a male blossom, and place it deep in the center of the female blossom. If your male blossoms start to wilt before the female ones bloom, you will need to save them so you can successfully pollinate your plant.
After you pollinate, you need to make sure your pot has good light and your plant is well watered. You should have pumpkins shortly after. When your pumpkins start to form, don't get too excited and pick them early. Wait until they are a nice orange color before you pick them. Pumpkins come in all different shapes, sizes, colors, and varieties, so make sure you know which kind you're growing so that you can pick and enjoy them at the perfect time.